HSA News for April 1, 2019

HSA News from around the country compiled by Mr. HSA Roy Ramthun.

News from Washington

Justice Department Sides with Court Ruling Obamacare Invalid

The Department of Justice announced on March 25 that it is siding with a district court ruling that found the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. The DOJ previously argued that the law's pre-existing condition protections should be struck down. Now, the administration argues the entire law should be invalidated.

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Democrats Unveil Plan to Build Up Obamacare as Trump Steps Up Attacks

House Democrats rolled out a proposal to build up Obamacare just one day after the Trump administration told a court that the entire law should be struck down. Democrats say the Obamacare changes are needed to reverse the Trump administration’s “sabotage” of the health care law.

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Trump: Group of GOP Senators Writing 'Spectacular' Obamacare Replacement

President Trump told reporters at the White House on March 28 that a group of GOP senators, including Sens. John Barrasso (R-WY), Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Rick Scott (R-FL), will come up with a "spectacular" plan to replace Obamacare if the courts strike down the law.

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Trump’s Group Health Plan Rules Struck Down

On March 28, U.S. District Judge John Bates blocked new rules governing so-called association health plans which let businesses and individuals band together to create group health plans that offer less expensive coverage than the ACA -- but without some of its protections.

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Medicare for All Would Abolish Private Insurance. ‘There’s No Precedent in American History.’

At the heart of the “Medicare for all” proposals championed by Senator Bernie Sanders and many Democrats is a revolutionary idea: Abolish private health insurance. Proponents want to start fresh with a single government-run insurer that would cover everyone. But doing away with an entire industry would also be profoundly disruptive.

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Holdout States Tiptoe Toward Medicaid Expansion Under Obamacare

The national conversation around health care is increasingly about "Medicare for All," but Democrats are still working to bring Republican states on board with expanding access to a different government program -- Medicaid. Under the ACA, states can get federal money to pay for adding people to the program, but 14 states never accepted it.

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HSA Studies & Analysis

Enrollment in HSA-Eligible Health Plans: Slow and Steady Growth Continued Into 2018

This Issue Brief from the Employee Benefit Research Institute examines trends in enrollment in HSA-eligible health plans. It compares surveys of individuals, employers, and health plans. It also puts enrollment trends in the context of the health policy environment.

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A Survey of Americans With HDHPS Identifies Opportunities to Enhance Consumer Behaviors

Most HDHP enrollees do not engage in consumer behaviors such as price shopping. Why not? We found that having an HSA was associated with saving for future care and employer HSA contributions were the most frequent facilitator of saving. These results suggest strategies that health plans, employers, and health systems should explore to promote greater engagement in consumer behaviors.

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HSA Compliance Corner

What Are HSA Contribution Limits and Deadlines in 2019?

HSAs rise in prominence around tax time as a great way to keep more of your own money in your pocket and less of it in Uncle Sam's pocket. Plus, you're stashing money away for health care expenses - for the rest of your life. Sound too good to be true? Not when you review the facts.

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HSA Industry News

Why Amazon Accepting HSA Dollars Is a Big Deal

Amazon’s recent move to allow consumers to use their HSA or FSA to purchase thousands of eligible items on its site isn’t just a savvy move for Amazon. The retailer’s acceptance of HSA dollars marks an exciting new opportunity for the HSA — one of the most misunderstood and underutilized savings tools in America.

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The HSA Market

How to Invest an HSA in Today's Market

While there are various ways to tackle rising health care costs, many investors overlook HSAs for those ever-growing out-of-pocket expenses, with unused assets available for retirement as well. How do HSAs look in today's market?

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HSAs & Retirement

How to Use an HSA to Save for Retirement

Millions of Americans either have or are eligible for HSAs, but many fail to understand their benefits. Only a quarter of workers say funding their account is a financial priority, according to a 2018 survey. By not contributing to their accounts, employees are missing out on immediate tax benefits as well as the opportunity to build additional savings for retirement.

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How to Retire Younger Using an HSA

Saving money by cutting frivolous spending and maxing out 401(k) contributions are great steps to retire early, but when it comes to tax savings, they pale in comparison to the triple tax advantages of an HSA.

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How Your HSA Can Reimburse You for Medicare Premiums Paid

If I have my Medicare payments deducted directly from my Social Security benefits, can I still withdraw money from my HSA for those expenses? Yes, you can withdraw money tax-free from your HSA to reimburse yourself for those expenses if you are age 65 or older.

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Increasing Health Care Costs Have Implications for Retirement Savings

As much as people try to understand their financial needs in retirement, one unknown cost is health care. Despite the existence of Medicare insurance for seniors, it does not cover all costs and health care can be extremely expensive, particularly as one ages. According to a new analysis, by the time one reaches age 65, average health care costs are $11,300 per person, per year.

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Maximizing Your HSA

Your Complete 2019 Guide to the HSA

In this article, we’re going to talk about one of the most powerful backup plans that you can have to fill in the gaps in a high-deductible insurance plan. It’s called the HSA, and it offers an easy way for the everyday person to save for their future health care and get a ton of benefits for doing so.

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HSAs Offer Another Path to Tax Deductions

Last-minute IRA contributions often get a lot of attention around tax time, but you don't hear much about the fact that you can also contribute to an HSA for 2018 up to the tax-filing deadline. Here's why eligible investors should give HSA contributions a look.

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How HSA Contribution Rates Have Increased in 2019

When it comes to easing the burden of medical expenses, an HSA may be the ideal choice. An HSA is an option that can help mitigate any financial burdens related to health care spending, in the present and the future.

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How Can I Save More Money Each Month?

Accounts like HSAs and FSAs are withheld before you get your paycheck amount-pre-tax. Ultimately, you end up paying fewer taxes which saves you money. Every dollar helps, and they add up quickly when it comes to taxes. The use of pre-tax deductions is extremely beneficial and shows how to save money.

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Consumer-Driven Health Care

Price of a Brace Brings Soccer Player to His Knees

After a sports injury, Esteban Serrano owed $829.41 for a knee brace purchased with insurance through his doctor’s office. The same kind of braces sell for less than $250 online, he says.

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Surprise Medical Bills Burden 1 in 7 Patients

About 1 in 7 patients received a surprise bill despite obtaining care at an in-network hospital, according to a new analysis by the Health Care Cost Institute. Anesthesiology accounted for the largest share of out-of-network professional claims. Independent labs were the most likely to bill out of network.

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What If All US Health Care Costs Were Transparent?

In the U.S., the very same blood test can cost $19 at one clinic and $522 at another clinic just blocks away -- and nobody knows the difference until they get a bill weeks later. Journalist Jeanne Pinder says it doesn't have to be this way. She's built a platform that crowdsources the true costs of medical procedures and makes the data public, revealing the secrets of health care pricing.

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Plain Talk About Price Transparency

How is it that the Plain Community (Amish and Mennonite) has obtained what other health care consumers want so desperately—a clear and simple list of health care service prices? What, if anything, can this teach us about the broader issue of price transparency?

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Why Congress Isn't Expanding Virtual Healthcare

Major hospital networks experimenting with virtual care insist the approach is saving them loads of money. But Congress’s official scorekeeper doesn’t necessarily agree — and that makes lawmakers wary of expanding telehealth.

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Apple Could Combine Its Expertise in Health and Fintech to Get into Medical Billing, Experts Say

Apple is investing in health-technology and putting its hardware to use in doctor's offices across the country. It's also making moves in financial services, with its Apple Pay service and a new credit card. So how about the intersection between health and financial services?

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Bryan CaplanComment